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Concert Reviews (849)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

Wayne Shorter stands as one of the living giants of jazz, a towering presence over the last half-century of the music both as a saxophonist and a composer. With his seventieth birthday coming on August 25th, a celebration entitled "Wayne Shorter: Life & Music" was held at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Wednesday Night Jazz Series. Performing alongside Mr. Shorter were his working quartet--bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and Danilo Perez on Piano--the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under
To call last nights performance a 'gig' is like calling the Bolshoi Ballet a dance team from Russia. A very expensive lithograph of Charlie Parker was on display near the bandstand and it was more than just decoration it was a reminder that this presentation was honoring a man who changed the course of musical history with his genius. Freddie Redd was right in the middle of the NYC bop scene and was privy to the likes of Bird, Bud Powell, Dizzy et al. Redd is the essence of Powell in spiri
It has often been opined by your 'humble correspondent' that the human voice is the ultimate musical instrument. The ability of the voice to give life to a tune not only by way of the lyrical aspect but by the nuances that it can generate, makes it unique. Certainly the brasses and the woodwinds and some percussion ie; the Piano can move one from laughter to tears but the voice alone has the ability to send emotions to another level in sensitivity. Pale imitations of the voice though they may

Osby: Wizard

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[For a description of the remarkable old, old-school rococo, slightly funky Chicago institution The Green Mill, please refer to my concert review of the Matt Wilson Quartet elsewhere on this very site.] The 40-something Greg Osby is one of the premier alto saxophone wizards of his generation, that generation of musicians whose commitment to jazz is unwavering, but open to the influences/inspirations of not only hard bop and the jazz avant-garde but to pre-bop styles and even [gasp] non-jazz musi
The Long Beach Jazz Festival is an event remarkable for the way it involves and reflects the community it serves. It is not designed for jazz purists; popular artists are booked, players that can project a certain vibe and know how to create and sustain a good groove. The musical fare is heavy on smooth jazz, R&B and Latin jazz. The audience that turns out for the festival is down with that and, as the musicians booked are among the best those genres have to offer, anybody with an open mind, ear
It must be the pure love of the music that drives them Jane Bunnett and husband Larry Cramer. The rigors of the road can take a toll as they shepherd their ever-evolving band of Cuban artists and they do it in a home-style relaxed manner with Trumpeter Larry Cramer also serving as road manager for the crew. For their Sunday night date at Victors on the Bay in San Diego the Bass did not arrive with the band a full sized acoustic bass mysteriously vanished without a trace. After many frantic calls
It appears that the Pearly Gates were left open for a little on Tuesday night allowing Los Angeles to enjoy a voice from above. Jacki DePiro wowed a packed house at Level One Supper Club to a diverse and flavorful set of originals and jazz standards. Exuding confidence, Jacki entered the stage waving to fans and smiling; enjoying the evening almost as much as the crowd. With a high-energy show mixed of standards and original compositions, the variety kept everyone on their toes wondering


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The 2003 Idlewild Jazz Festival felt like a big family reunion picnic. The festival was held at Williamson Island, in Idlewild, Michigan. (During the 1920’s, Idlewild was a popular summer resort for African-Americans. It was called the Black Eden because African-American could engaged in cultural activities. Prominent writers, musicians, artists, and scholars from the Harlem Renaissance vacationed there.) "We decided to hold the festival here because Idlewild is a jewel," Janice Jones said. L
It is a full house at The Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, with people lining up outside, trying to squeeze in for tonight's gig, the second and last by Soweto at the club - after which he is to continue with his hectically busy touring schedule. Soweto proves to be an excellent be-bopper, and also an amazing hip-hopper: not only can he rap, his presence on stage is that of a 'jazz-rapper' (the way he moves and welcomes the audience on stage with a 'wazzup... everybody cool?') The quartet


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Marcus Belgrave believed a trumpet God blessed the 11 players who participated in his Trumpet Summit. For three afternoons, at the 24th annual Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival (FDIJF) the ensemble played as if the trumpet God had anointed their horns. "Jazz music is all about love, and the trumpet is the instrument of the Gods, and they told us to bring the music to you’ll, " Belgrave told the audience. The 67-year-old trumpeter has worked with Ray Charles, Charles Mingus, Ella
We only live once. And for some, to be able to experience pianist Brad Mehldau in his Trio with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums more than once is surely a blessing. Last night in the small but densely cultured town of Northampton, MA, in a club which Mehldau visits frequently, the SRO audience was vocally aghast at the Trio’s performance. There are good reasons why. First of all, these three musicians have been together for a long time. Their union, faithfulness and dedicatio
"Why y’all so quiet?" With these words Stefon Harris broke the silent expectation of the crowd at Albany’s Center for the Performing Arts, colloquially known as The Egg, on Friday, June 6th. As a low chuckle spread through the audience, someone shouted out: "We’re waiting for you!" Harris laughed. "Well, we’re ‘bout to have some fun." Harris emphatically remarked as the five members of Blackout readied their instruments. Fun is an inadequate word for what followed. Put simply, Blac

Mitch Holder Quartet

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There have been many exceptional performances at Michael D's Jazz Club, and a few have gone beyond exceptional, entering the rarefied realm of what is known in jazz circles as "Smokin' " or musically "tearing up the joint" On June 14th. Mitch Holder, Ray Pizzi, Domenic Genova and Steve Barnes joined a select group that have made history in this fine venue. (see reviews of Nancy Kelly, Carl Saunders, Mike Melvoin). To me the word swing connotes a manner of playing that generates excitement or

Soul at the Bowl

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The 25th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival was held over a picture-perfect weekend in mid-June at the venerable Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Featuring a who’s who line-up of performers befitting the historic nature of both the event and venue, it is all the more remarkable-and encouraging-that one of the most engaging performances of the first day came from neo-soul singer Lizz Wright, two years younger at age 23 than the festival itself. Ms. Wright’s enchanting blend of jazz and soul grabbed the a
Bodrum is the yachting centre of Turkey and is nestled in hugging curves of the irregular Aegean coastline. The harbour is dominated by the 'Gulet', a large wooden motor sailor that offers chartered trips around the coast. The boats are beautifully made and quite unique, and it is this which makes Bodrum so special. It is not surprising then, that the glitz and glamour of the place attracts a crowd that wants more than just grunge bars with thumping sequenced sounds. Turkey straddles Europe and

Roy Haynes Day

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The President of Milwaukee’s Common Council, Marvin Pratt and a jazz drummer from Milwaukee, Victor Campbell presented legendary bebop artist Roy Haynes with a Proclamation, making May 31 Roy Haynes Day. Graciously accepting the award, Roy seemed a bit surprised to receive a Proclamation from the city of Milwaukee. When he recently told a friend he had a gig in Wisconsin they asked "Do people like jazz in Wisconsin?" Nonetheless, Roy seemed impressed with the Proclamation and with the enthusiasm
This year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival was billed as "26 days of Jazz’ in celebration of its 26th anniversary. Performances were held in venues throughout the Atlanta area the first 23 days, with the last 3 days reserved for the free Memorial Day Weekend Concert Series, held in Piedmont Park, in Atlanta’s Midtown area. After 2 years of having 2 stages, one for emerging artists, this year’s weekend concerts returned to one stage. Also, the internationally known performers seemed to come from a wide
Judging by a rare club appearance, Diana Krall’s next album will be her most adventurous to date. A surprise mix of blues and pop songs by contemporary songwriters made up the bulk of a recent show at Yoshi’s, a favorite Bay Area jazz spot. Krall hasn’t played such a small club in years, but the intimate setting was the perfect place to test run the new material. She was heading into the recording studio just two days later. Krall covered songs by Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Mose Allison a
On Easter Sunday evening, I saw Patti Austin at Kimball's East. Her current show is called BeboperElla which is a tribute to the music from the Bebop era and celebrating the music of Ella Fitzgerald. It also featured music from her Grammy-nominated album "for Ella." Her band and backing vocalists were comprised of the very talented jazz students from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Patti received an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee i
Don’t confuse Austin’s Asylum Street Spankers with the down-into-the-dustbin-of-History neo-/retro-/whatever Swing/Lounge knee-deep-in-sharkskin trend that thrived in the hep urban environs of LA, SF, et. al. in the 1990s. Not that there wasn’t any good music in it Squirrel Nut Zippers and Frenchy were and are still pretty swell but a great deal of it was musically shallow and ain’t-we-HIP style over substance jizz by people who had never even touched or SEEN a Count Basie album. These As